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Nearby Nature School

The Basics:

WHAT: School year adventure, play, nature, science, art, & gardening! New theme every month! Nature study curriculum that complements in-school learning.

WHERE: Alton Baker Park and Nearby Nature’s Learnscape

WHO: Youth ages 4-5 (Wonder Keepers) and youth ages 6-10 (Natural Neighbors), max 10-12 children per program, taught by experienced nature educators.

WHEN: Month-long sessions, one day/week. Wonder Keepers 12:30-4:30 on Wednesdays and Natural Neighbors 2:30-5:30 on Monday and/or Fridays. (Note there is no Monday session in April.) Flexible drop off and pick up first and last 30 minutes of each session.

HOW MUCH: $125/month members, $145/month non-members for Wonder Keepers. $90/month members, $110/month non-members for Natural Neighbors. Scholarships available! Apply when you register online.* 

REGISTRATION and PAYMENT: When you register online, you will create an account and your registration information will be saved for future programs. Be sure to read our cancellation policy on this page below. Returning families — please review and update your online information yearly.  Note: Enrollment is on-going. Simply pay the $35 deposit and we will prorate your final fees due according to when you join the group.

*If registering online or paying a deposit in advance is not possible for you, or you would prefer to make a deposit to make a payment by check or in cash, please contact us to make arrangements.

Program Options:

  • Wonder Keepers (ages 4-5) – Participants in each month-long session of this program enjoy one half day of nature discovery per week (Wednesday afternoons from 12:30-4:30) in the Learnscape and out in Alton Baker Park. Sensory adventures, cooperative activities, nature storytelling, garden exploration, Earth art, and free time in our outdoor play spaces will help young children develop a personal connection to the wonders of the natural world as well as social and independent exploring skills
  • Natural Neighbors (ages 6-10) – Participants in each month-long session of this program will enjoy one or two days of after school adventures per week (most months choice of Monday and/or Friday afternoons 2:30-5:30) in Alton Baker Park and our Learnscape. Nature study tools and resources such as nets, magnifiers, and real specimens, plus art materials and access to natural playspaces will help participants get to know their nearby animal and plant neighbors and deepen their personal connections to the amazing natural community we all call home.

Location: Alton Baker Park and the Nearby Nature Learnscape

Programs site provides access to bathrooms, drinking water, parking for drop-off and pick-up, and covered areas in case of inclement weather. All programs happen rain or shine.

Group Size and Ages

Nearby Nature programs serve kids in two different age groups — pre-K Wonder Keepers (ages 4-5) and school-aged Natural Neighbors (ages 6-10). Enrollment is capped at 10-12 students per program.

Experienced Instructors

At least two staffers run each program — one lead staff instructor and a trained volunteer or assistant instructor. Staff instructors are all experienced educators have spent many hours outdoors teaching children. All staff are First Aid/CPR certified and all staff and volunteers are background checked and fully vaccinated.

Important Notes:

  • A minimum non-refundable deposit of $35 is required to hold your program space.
  • Full payment is due a week in advance. Payments can be made by credit card online or in person/by mail with check or cash.

Membership Discount

Scholarships

Nearby Nature believes all children should have affordable access to outdoor adventures in nature nearby. Scholarship assistance is available for our programs at Alton Baker Park through our Every Child Outside Fund (formerly the Youth Scholarship Fund). To apply, fill out the Scholarship section in our online registration form. (Note — If you decide to decline our scholarship offer, all but $10 of your deposit will be refunded.) Donations to the Every Child Outside Fund are also welcome!

Additional Information

Click on the following links for more information about our programs.

Cancellation Policy

Nearby Nature hopes your month goes as planned and you will not need to withdraw your child from any programs. We do understand, however, that sometimes cancellations are unavoidable. If you need to cancel a registration, please do so as far in advance as possible.

  • Cancellation by 6pm on Monday two weeks before your program = full refund minus the non-refundable $35 deposit ($10 for scholarship recipients).
  • Cancellation by 6pm on Monday one week before your program = 50% refund of camp tuition.
  • No refunds for cancellations after 6pm on Monday one week before your program.

Cancellation by us may happen if there is insufficient enrollment seven days prior to a program. You will be notified promptly and your full payment refunded.

COVID-19 Update

Please see our Health and Safety Policies for details on how we are keeping program participants and staff safe. Modifications to these policies happen as guidance from local, state, and national officials changes. See also our Air Quality Monitoring Policies.

Questions?

Contact our Garden and Programs Manager, Grace Chollar-Webb, at 541-687-9699 or email programs@nearbynature.org if you have any questions or problems with registration. Please leave a phone number with your voicemail or email if you are having registration problems so that we can solve these as quickly as possible. Thanks!